Overview of carbon emissions produced by Maldives
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What percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions does Maldives produce?

Maldives produces 0.01% of global emissions, and has been ranked the world’s 169th largest emitter of greenhouse gases since 1990. Since this date, their annual emissions have increased by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2%.

Summary – GHG Emissions in Maldives

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in USD$4.89bn
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 20192.6m
Change in Emissions since 20182.2%
Percentage of Total Emissions (2019)0.01%
Rank – Emitters in 2019165
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions since 199029.3m
Compound Annual Growth – Emissions since 19909.2%
Percentage of Total Emissions (1990-2019)0.01%
GDP Per Capita (USD)$8.99k
Emissions Per Capita4.8
641ce80c6164b0275439731d Maldives and ten largest%2520emitters since 1990

In the last recorded year (2019), Maldives was the world’s 165th largest producer of yearly carbon dioxide emissions and contributed 0.01% of all global emissions. The top three emitters in the same period were China, the United States, and India. These three nations produced 25.2%, 12%, and 7% of global emissions respectively.

641ce80c6164b0d5a5397330 Maldives change in emissions 1990 to present

In 2019, Maldives emitted 2.6m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or MtCO₂e. This represented an increase in emissions from 2018 by 2.2%.

Emissions per capita in Maldives – average household carbon footprint

The population of Maldives is 544k. On a per capita basis, they produce 4.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per person. This places them 105th out of 191 on emissions produced per capita. The top three emitters per capita are Solomon Islands, Qatar, and Kuwait.

What is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Maldives?

In 2019, Maldives produced 2.6m metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This was an increase of 2.2% from 2018. 81.1% of these emissions came from CO2, 5.1% came from CH4, and 0.38% came from N2O.

The sector that produced the most emissions in 2019 was the energy industry. Energy produced 2.11m of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This amounted to 81.1% of total GHG in Maldives. The second and third largest emitting sectors were industrial processes and bunker fuels- producing 13.4% and 11.2% of total GHG respectively.


The industry that produced the most energy related emissions was the transportation sector, emitting 1.22m tonnes of greenhouse gas. The second and third largest emitting sectors were electricity/heat and manufacturing/construction – producing 757k and 74k tonnes of GHG each.

Land Use Change and Forestry

Land use change and forestry (LUCF), such as deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural or urban areas, can have a significant impact on carbon emissions.

  • Trees and other vegetation absorb and store carbon through the process of photosynthesis, and when they are cut down or burned, that stored carbon is released into the atmosphere.
  • Deforestation and other forms of land use change can also reduce the ability of ecosystems to absorb and store carbon in the future. Additionally, the conversion of land for agriculture or urban development can lead to the release of carbon stored in the soil.
  • On the other hand, sustainable forestry practices, such as reforestation and afforestation, can help to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in trees and other vegetation.

In the case of Maldives, their LUCF had no impact on their emissions.

After accounting for land use change and forestry, the total amount of greenhouse emissions in Maldives in 2019 was 2.6m metric tonnes.

Is there a correlation between greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth?

In 2019, gross domestic product (GDP) in Maldives grew by 5.8% from the previous year. Measured in US dollars, the economy went from $5.3bn to $5.61bn. In the same period carbon emissions increased by 2.2%. Over a ten year period from 2009 to 2019, GDP grew by 139%, while emissions have increased by 144%.

To put this into context, the compound annual growth rate of GDP in Maldives over the previous ten years was 9.1% and the CAGR for greenhouse gas emissions was 9.3%.

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